HomeNewsNationalHurricane Beryl Eyes Jamaica, Cayman Islands As A Powerful Category 4 Storm

Hurricane Beryl Eyes Jamaica, Cayman Islands As A Powerful Category 4 Storm

Jamaica is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Beryl, a Category 4 storm, with evacuations ordered in anticipation of life-threatening winds and floods. The storm has already caused devastation across the Caribbean, resulting in at least seven known fatalities and significant property damage.

On Wednesday (July 3), Hurricane Beryl was 250 miles away from Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, moving at about 22 mph with sustained wind speeds of nearly 145 mph. Although wind speeds may decrease by the time the storm reaches Jamaica, authorities are warning residents not to underestimate the severity of the storm. Storm surges are expected to raise water levels six to nine feet above normal.

“Devastating hurricane-force winds, life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves are expected in portions of Jamaica beginning this afternoon and in the Cayman Islands early on Thursday,” the National Hurricane Center said early Wednesday.

Even if Beryl does not make landfall on Jamaica, it could still cause devastation around 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET when winds are expected to be the strongest.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness urged residents in low-lying areas, areas prone to flooding and landslides, or those living on the banks of a river to evacuate to a shelter or safer ground. The country’s security forces have plans in place to prevent looting and other opportunistic crimes once the hurricane has passed.

The Cayman Islands are also under a hurricane warning, with Beryl expected to pass over later Wednesday and into Thursday, bringing hurricane winds and storm surge flooding two to four feet above normal water levels.

The south coast of Haiti and the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula are under a tropical storm warning. Texas administrators are taking no chances and have advised anyone living in or visiting coastal areas for the Fourth of July to listen for warnings and have a plan in place should the weather turn rough.

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